How To Design A Wallpaper

How To Design A Wallpaper

How To Design A Wallpaper

Understanding the Basics of Wallpaper Design

The design of wallpaper can drastically transform the appearance of a room, setting the mood and reflecting personal taste or style. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned decorator, understanding the basics of wallpaper design is essential in order to achieve the desired aesthetic.

Types of Wallpapers

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of wallpapers that are available. This includes traditional, non-woven, vinyl, flock, and metallic wallpapers, each with their own unique set of features and benefits.

Design Elements to Consider

When choosing a wallpaper design, you should consider various elements such as color, pattern, and texture. Each element affects the overall mood and style of the room. For instance, a room with a pastel-colored wallpaper with small patterns might appear soft and serene, while a room with bold, geometric patterns could seem more modern and energetic.


Color can evoke different reactions and feelings, so it's important to consider the emotional impact of your chosen color scheme. Research into color psychology can be beneficial.


A pattern adds visual interest to a space. Patterns can range from geometric figures, flowers, abstract designs, to intricate landscapes — they can either subtly complement a room’s décor or become a striking focal point.


The texture of the wallpaper is what gives depth and character to the design. It can vary greatly; from smooth and flat, to rough, or even three-dimensional textures. Choosing the right texture can enhance the space and add an element of luxurious touch.

Scale and Orientation

Another critical aspect to consider is the scale or size of the pattern and the orientation. Large-scale patterns can make a space seem smaller and cozier, while smaller patterns often make a room feel more spacious. Using horizontal stripes can make a room appear wider, while vertical stripes might make a room seem taller.

Applying the Wallpaper

Finally, understanding how to prepare your walls and apply the wallpaper will ensure a successful project. It is important to smooth out any imperfections on the wall, apply a suitable adhesive, and match the pattern correctly to create a seamless appearance.

By understanding these basic elements of wallpaper design, you can create a backdrop that not only sets the right mood for the room but also displays your unique individual style.

Choosing the Right Theme and Color for your Wallpaper

Selecting the right theme and color for your wallpaper fundamentally depends on your individual style and the mood or atmosphere you want to create in your living space. It also significantly depends on the existing decor, furniture, and color schemes in your room.

Understanding the Role of Theme in Wallpaper Selection

The theme of your wallpaper provides an overall design structure to your room and plays a crucial role in portraying your personal taste. If you are a fan of a minimalistic and contemporary approach, you might opt for geometric patterns or subtle textures. On the other hand, if you are fascinated by the elegance of yesteryears, a vintage or floral theme could be your pick. Animal prints, sports, and abstract themes are other popular options.

Choosing a Color that Complements your Room

Picking the right color for your wallpaper is important, as it significantly affects the visual appeal of your room. Greens and blues are perfect for creating a calm and serene atmosphere. Bright hues like reds and yellows lend an energetic and vibrant feel. Neutral colors like white, grey, and beige are versatile and perfectly complement the intense colored furniture. Ensure the color of your wallpaper complements the existing decor to achieve a harmonious look.

Consider Wallpaper Application Area

The room where you plan to apply the wallpaper also influences theme and color choice. Lighter tones are generally preferred for smaller spaces like bathrooms and hallways to make them appear spacious. In contrast, experimenting with darker shades and bold patterns in larger rooms could create a striking impact.

The Impact of Lighting

Lighting can also impact how your wallpaper appears. Natural light brings out the true colors of the wallpaper, while artificial lighting changes the color perception. Testing wallpaper samples under different lighting conditions before making a final choice can be beneficial.

The Final Touch: Textures and Finishes

The texture and finish of the wallpaper also play a significant role. Shiny finishes reflect more light and can make a room look bigger. Textured wallpapers add depth and intricacy and are perfect for hiding wall imperfections.

Consulting with a Professional

Consulting with a professional decorator or interior designer can help you make a well-informed decision regarding the right theme and color for your wallpaper. They have specialized knowledge about trending themes, color psychology, and lighting effects, which can guide your selection process.

Experimenting with Digital Tools

Using digital tools and apps, you can virtually install different wallpapers in your room. This allows you to experiment with different themes and colors, enabling you to visualize the final outcome without making a financial commitment or physical effort.

Create your Design Concept

In this section, we're going to delve into the creation of your wallpaper design concept. This step forms the backbone of the entire process. Remember, every interior design project, just like an art composition, starts with an idea or a concept. This concept helps to establish a theme and guides the subsequent colors, textures, patterns and arrangements that you can use.

Sketching Out Your Idea

The beginning of your wallpaper design concept is a basic sketch or draft of your idea. You don't have to be a proficient artist to do this. You're merely creating a map that'll guide your design. Use sketching tools to outline shapes, patterns and textures you anticipate to include in your design. This helps solidify and visualize your ideas.

Choosing the Right Colors

After sketching, it's time to focus on colors. Color contributes to mood, depth and can drive the entire design. While choosing, consider the room's lighting, the theme and the room decor elements. Also, it's crucial to understand some basic color theories like complementary, monochromatic, or analogous color schemes. These are valuable for achieving balance and harmony in your design.

Getting the Texture and Pattern Right

Texture and pattern add charm and character to your design. Smooth and sleek textures or textured like fabric can add an extra dimension to your walls, while patterns can introduce rhythm and prominence. When selecting, ensure they correspond with your chosen color scheme and the overall aesthetic of the room. The consistency is key.

Understanding Your Space

Every design should respond to its space. Consider the room size, shape, and function where the wallpaper is intended. For instance, a smaller room might not work well with large, bold patterns as they can make the space feel cramped. On the other hand, vibrantly colored wallpaper can liven up a dull, big room.

Going Beyond the Wall

Wallpaper is not only for walls. Think beyond the norm and consider how your design could potentially work on a ceiling, within panels or as a feature piece in your room. This further expands your design possibilities.

Consulting with Professionals

While conceptualizing your design, it's helpful to consult with professionals. They can provide valuable insights, corrections, validating your concepts, or suggesting new ideas.

Experimenting and Refining

Finally, take a moment to experiment and refine your ideas. Use digital mock-ups or wallpaper samples to see your design in action. These tools help in making any necessary changes before the final application. Remember, the goal is to create a design that not only achieves aesthetic beauty but also reflects you and your distinctive taste.

Important Elements of an Effective Wallpaper Design

Designing an eye-catching and memorable wallpaper requires a certain level of precision, creativity, and execution. Here are key elements that you should consider when coming up with a design for your wallpaper.


Color can incite emotions, create an ambience and set the theme of a room. Your choice of color can be based on personal preference, the nature of the room or the desire to create a certain mood. Ensure to balance your colors well; too much contrast can be overbearing while lack of it can result in a dull image.


The pattern of your wallpaper can be geometric, floral, abstract or textural. Patterns add depth and character to the wallpaper design and can be a source of visual interest. The size and frequency of the pattern matters, and should be considered in relation to both the size of the wall and the room.


Both visual and physical texture can add a tactile dimension to the wallpaper design. For instance, wallpapers with a grasscloth finish can bring a touch of warmth and natural feel to a space, while a metallic finish can exude luxury and sophistication.

Quality of Materials

The quality of the material used should not be compromised. High quality materials result in durable and long-lasting wallpapers that can withstand environmental conditions. Different materials also offer different finishes, which can add an extra touch to the overall design.

Room's Function and Style

The design of your wallpaper should reflect the function and style of the room it will adorn. For instance, a more vibrant and playful design may be suitable for a child's bedroom, while a more subdued and elegant design may be preferred in a dining or living room.


Simplicity in a design can sometimes create the most impact. A clear, uncomplicated design often stands the test of time and allows the inherent beauty of the materials and craftsmanship to shine through.

Endurance Over Time

Good wallpaper design can stand the test of time. Opt for designs which won't easily lose their relevance or appeal as home décor trends come and go. This way, you won't have to change your wallpaper as often.

Using Digital Tools for Wallpaper Design

Designing wallpaper is an art form that benefits greatly from the use of digital tools. These tools, ranging from graphic design software to online design platforms, offer unlimited creative possibilities. Whether you want to create a simple minimalist design or a lavish art nouveau-inspired pattern, digital tools can help.

Choosing the Right Design Software

The first step in digital wallpaper design is selecting the proper software. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are two popular choices. Photoshop is suitable for creating intricate designs with multiple layers, while Illustrator is best for making vector art that scales without losing resolution.

Creating a Digital Sketch

After picking your software, start your design process by creating a digital sketch. With digital sketching, you can explore a variety of patterns, colour schemes, and techniques with ease. This digital approach also allows for undoing and redoing actions until you get your design just right.

Understanding Patterns and Repetitions

Key to wallpaper design is understanding how patterns and repetitions work. When designing your wallpaper, consider how the pattern will repeat and how this will impact the overall look on a large scale. Some digital tools offer handy functions to visualize and adjust these repetitions.

Working with Colors

One major advantage digital tools offer is the ability to work with any color imaginable. Besides choosing and adjusting colors, many digital design tools also allow you to develop color palettes and save them for future use. You can even use color match tools to mimic colors found in photographs or real-life objects.

Maintaining Harmony and Contrast

Designing wallpaper that works in a space requires an understanding of color harmony and contrast. Fortunately, most digital tools provide color harmony guides and tools to help maintain balance in your designs.

Final Adjustments and Printing

Once you’re happy with your design, make sure to double-check all details. If you’re going to print your wallpaper, ensure the design's resolution and color profiles match your printer's. Some digital tools even offer print preview features to help avoid unpleasant surprises.

Benefits of Digital Wallpaper Design

Given the flexibility and customization they offer, digital tools revolutionize wallpaper design. They allow you limitless creativity, while providing practical tools for managing colors, patterns and print. With time and practice, virtually anyone can learn to design beautiful wallpapers using digital tools.

Techniques for Turning your Design into a Repeat Pattern

Creating repeat patterns can be a challenging but rewarding process. In the world of wallpaper designing, it's critical to master this process as it can add a sense of continuity and cohesiveness to your design. The following steps act as a complete guide to transforming your design into a repeat pattern, creating a beautiful and seamless wallpaper design.

Selecting a Base Design

Before you can create a repeat pattern, you must first have a base design. This should be a simple, uncomplicated design that can easily be repeated without appearing too cluttered or overwhelming. This can be anything from a simple geometric shape to a small floral motif.

Digitizing your Design

Once you have your base design, it’s time to digitize it. You can use software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to do this. Import your design into the software and create a clear, clean-cropped digital version of it.

Creating a Repeat Grid

The next step is creating a repeat grid. This grid will act as a guide for where your design elements should go to create a seamless pattern. Start by making a square canvas in your software and duplicating your design so that it fits within this square. Make sure each design element aligns perfectly with the other.

Testing the Repeating Pattern

After you’ve set your repeating pattern within the grid, it’s time to test it. This can be done by using the 'define pattern' function on your software, which will show you what your pattern will look like when repeated. Look for any gaps or inconsistencies in the design, and adjust as needed.

Saving and Exporting the Design

Once you are happy with your repeat pattern, save it as a high-quality file. This file can then be imported by a wallpaper printing company to print your unique wallpaper design.

Making Adjustments

Even after exporting, there might be a need to make small adjustments to ensure optimal print results. Always review a print sample before finalizing the design. This step aids to help you adjust colours, scale and even slightly adjust the pattern if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Turning your design into a repeat pattern is part art, part science. With practice and patience, you'll be able to create beautiful, coherent, elegant wallpapers to adorn any space. Do not be afraid to experiment and remember that the key to a great design is in the details.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Wallpaper Design

Designing wallpaper is a detailed process that requires skill, precision, and great attention to detail. However, in this pursuit for the perfect design, there are common mistakes that can be made. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you create stunning wallpaper designs that liven up any space. Here we'll provide some insight on some common errors and ways to prevent them.

1. Ignoring Room Size

One of the most common errors in wallpaper design is ignoring the room size. The size and overall layout of a room can profoundly affect how your finished wallpaper design looks. A oversized pattern can make small rooms feel cramped, while minimal designs may look unnoticeable in large rooms. Therefore, it's crucial to consider the size of the room before deciding on a design.

2. Overlooking the Importance of Color

Color can dramatically shape a room's mood, and the wrong color can create an entirely different atmosphere than intended. Coordinating the wallpaper color with other room elements can create a harmonious and balanced space. Also, it's important to be mindful of how certain colors can create optical illusions, making a room appear larger or smaller.

3. Not Factoring in Light

Natural light has a significant impact on how wallpaper colors and patterns are perceived. A design that looks brilliant under bright, natural light may not have the same impact in a room with less light. Always consider the level of natural light in a room when choosing colors and patterns.

4. Overlap of Pattern

Non-proportionate pattern repeat can lead to an uneven and unpolished look. It is essential to calculate the pattern repeat and match them accordingly before the wallpaper is printed or applied to achieve a symmetrical effect.

5. Forgetting About Wallpaper Durability

Different rooms require different types of wallpaper. For instance, a kitchen or bathroom would require a more durable and water-resistant type of wallpaper in comparison to a bedroom or living room. It's a common mistake to choose a design based on aesthetics without considering practical factors such as durability and maintenance.

6. Neglecting the Ceiling

Lastly, while designing wallpaper, many often overlook the sixth wall, the ceiling. With the right wallpaper design and installation, the ceiling can turn into a remarkable design element that provides a unique visual perspective.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can design functional and aesthetically pleasing wallpaper that can transform a room and truly make it your own.

Printing and Testing your Wallpaper Design

After you've finished with the design process, it's crucial that you print and test your wallpaper design to ensure it looks exactly how you envisioned. Here's how you go about this necessary step:

Preparation for Printing

Your design should be saved in a high-resolution format that is suitable for printing, such as TIFF or PDF. If possible, meet with your printer to discuss any specific requirements or recommendations they might have.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper Material

The material of the wallpaper will impact both the appearance and longevity of your design. Vinyl wallpaper is durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Non-woven wallpapers, on the other hand, are breathable, which prevents mold and mildew.

Printing the Design

Ensure that you print a sample of your wallpaper design before committing to printing the entire roll. This will allow you to catch any errors, confirm color accuracy, and decide if you're happy with the overall look and feel of the design.

Color Testing

Monitor settings can often mislead us about the true colors of our design. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s recommended to print color palettes or sample designs to test them under the room lighting. Evaluate the colors against your room's light at different times of the day.

Testing the Wallpaper Design

Once you've printed a sample of your wallpaper design, the next step is to test it in the intended space. Temporarily hang it on the wall to see how it looks in the actual environment.

Examining the Scale and Repeat

Bigger isn't always better. Ensure the scale of your design doesn't overwhelm the room, and that the wallpaper pattern repeat lines up correctly from strip to strip.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Wallpapers should blend well with the rest of your home décor. A test sample will help you play around with other interior elements like furniture, curtains, and accessories, to see if it's the perfect fit for your design scheme.

Finalizing the design

If you're satisfied with how your design looks printed and against your wall, you're ready to finalize and print the complete run. If not, don't be afraid to head back to the drawing board. Design is a process of trial and error, and it's crucial that you're 100% happy with your wallpaper.